Dehradun: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna on Wednesday refuted allegations that the state government is acquiring fertile agricultural land of farmers in the name of industrial development, saying the acquired land belonged to the state and was lying unused for years.

Bahuguna described as unfounded the opposition's charge that fertile land of farmers was being acquired for SIDCUL phase II to be launched by him on Thursday at Sitarganj, his constituency.

The Chief Minister said the land in Sitarganj jail premises had been acquired by the previous BJP government in Uttarakhand for Rs 30 crore to develop a special economic zone in 2008 and was lying in disuse since.

He said there was nothing wrong in utilising a piece of land lying unused for the industrial development of the state. BJP leader Ajay Bhatt, who is also the Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, had accused the state government of acquiring fertile land of farmers for the second phase of State Industrial Development Corporation of Uttarakhand Limited (SIDCUL-II) on Wednesday.

He had also demanded a document on the activities undertaken by the state government under SIDCUL-I before going ahead with the launch of its second phase.

The chief minister said investment worth thousands of crores will be brought to the state without any industrial package or Central aid.

Big industrial houses and the Centre had given their nod for largescale investments in the state and a mega industrial policy will soon be launched to woo investors, he said.

"Luring investments to the state is our priority. It would not only add to the state's sources of income but also generate employment opportunities," Bahuguna said.


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